Canadian Underwriter

RISK: Heat waves cost Australian economy $6.2 billion U.S.

May 6, 2015   by The Guardian

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Heat waves are costing the Australian economy at least $6.2 billion U.S. in lost productivity and absenteeism.

A study published in Nature found workers spent 10 days a year under severe heat stress, and seven percent had missed at least one day of work. The study estimates the lost productivity costs $932 per person.

Researchers say workplaces must adapt to extreme heat “if severe economic impacts from labour productivity loss are to be avoided if heatwaves become as frequent as predicted.”

Lead researcher Dr. Kerstin Zander said the $6.2 billion was an underestimate since they couldn’t measure the lost productivity of stay-at-home caregivers, volunteers and people over 65. “So our estimate is at the lower end, it could be US$10bn or so. Either way, it’s a large figure that will keep going up as it gets warmer in the years ahead.”

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.